2) DO NOT use credit cards excessively or let current accounts fall behind. Here are five things you must know before your next real closing: 1. To make it go smoothly, it is very important that both buyer and the seller are properly prepared. Here are the four things you need to know as a buyer before closing on a house: #1. There are a number of things you need to do before you close on a home. Before closing, do not spend an additional amount of money on other things. The closing agent or your real estate agent can give you a copy of the closing statement, known as the HUD-1, detailing how much you owe at the closing table. Make Sure Your Mortgage Is Approved. Between the negotiations, the mortgage paperwork, the home inspections, and the number crunching (and recrunching), it’s easy to get bogged down by the weightiness of it all. The last thing you want is for your go-to home maintenance lifesavers to show up at your old place only to find that you’ve flown the coop, wasting their precious work hours in the process. You definitely don’t want to find yourself bereft of help on moving day itself, begging that friend with a pickup truck to bail you out. Nobody else cares as much about the closing as you do, and you may have to live with their mistakes for decades. Tick these things to do before closing on a house off your to-do list, and your move-in might prove a (more) seamless affair. If they haven’t received cancellation notice from the seller, let the seller know to take care of that. If the kids and pets can arrive at a somewhat unpacked new place with their new sleeping areas already set up, so much the better. Do these things first before you get settled in your new place. This official document outlines your exact mortgage payments, the loan’s terms (e.g., the interest rate and duration), and additional fees you’ll pay, called closing costs (which account for anywhere from 2% to 7% of your home’s price). Sometimes distant relatives—or an ex-spouse—may surface with a claim that they actually own the home, and that the seller had no right to sell it to you in the first place. As part of the closing process, your mortgage lender will require a title search, and you'll need to purchase title insurance to protect you from legal claims to the house. What Not To Do Before Closing on A House Change jobs, quit your job, or become self-employed Buy a car, truck or van unless you plan on living in it Use your credit cards excessively or let your payment fall behind Closing day in a house deal is a milestone for both the seller and the buyer. Closing contingencies are conditions listed in the contract that must be met before the home transaction becomes legally binding. Being a homeowner is an amazing feeling and as you can see, there are things to do, even after closing. It looks like Cookies are disabled in your browser. Assuming you can pay for new furniture in full immediately, one well-priced couch shouldn’t put your mortgage at risk, but resist buying a five-figure living room set until after closing. If the measurements and color reallytruly work in your new space, put in the order now so you’re not spending months sitting in lawn chairs to read the Sunday paper. With the buyer’s permission, turn off your house’s main shutoff valve 24 hours before closing. The best plan is to call the utility companies and get service set up well before closing. Do not close any credit accounts. Don't Neglect These 6 Maintenance Tasks—or Else, Debunked! Don’t get cajoled or intimidated. What are the steps to closing on a house? However, as we mentioned earlier about keeping your debt as is until the mortgage closes, the same applies here. Do NOT Close Out Any Debt Account. If you’re changing addresses during a busy moving month (e.g., June or September), the choice companies tend to book … Underwriters are like real estate detectives—it’s their job to make sure you've represented yourself and your finances truthfully, and that you haven’t made any false or misleading claims on your loan application. Drive through your pending new neighborhood and collect menus for pizza, Chinese, and any other delicious-looking takeout spots (online menus are frequently incomplete and outdated). To make it go smoothly, it is very important that both buyer and the seller are properly prepared. To make the process easier to understand, here is a list of nine things you’ll need to do before closing on your new home. Your lender will keep a close eye on your finances right up until the deal closes. Here are 8 things to do before closing on a house: Get your New Mortgage Ready. Anything that was promised to you in the purchase agreement no longer applies after the settlement is complete. Closing disclosure: This multi-page behemoth replaces the old HUD-1 form. Most purchase agreements have contingencies—things that buyers must do before the real estate transaction is official, explains Jimmy Branham, a Coral Springs, FL, real estate agent at the Keyes Company. Avoid these buyer faux pas when offering on a house. The final walk-through is your last chance – before you take ownership of the home – to ensure that: All requested repairs are complete No new repair or maintenance issues have come up since the inspection All of the agreed-upon fixtures and furniture, detailed in … If your home inspection revealed problems that the sellers had agreed to fix, you’ll want to make sure those repairs were made. Good GCs are the unicorns of the home-repair world; don’t spend months after move-in trying to find that single reliable contractor. This one comes with a HUGE caveat: Generally speaking, you should institute a spending freeze during the escrow period. https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/closing-checklist-home-sellers Book those workers several weeks in advance, ideally for a time after you close but before you move, so that you’re not in permanent purgatory in your new place. The process of buying a home is long and complicated, with multiple steps to be accomplished before an actual closing can occur. Maybe you’re not doing any major work on the place, but it’s still likely you’re repainting walls and buffing a few floors. Once you have that closing date in hand, nail down movers ASAP. Attend the Walk-Through As a homebuyer, you have a right to inspect the property one more time before closing. Periodic snow shoveling? You can get recommendations from your real estate agent, mortgage lender, and friends—just be sure to check out the license and reputation of each company online. The very last thing you want to do on your first night in a new place is cook. It’s smart to get your final documents a few days before closing and review them at home without pressure. Book the locksmith as close to your move-in date as possible so it’s one less thing you’re stressing about the first night in your new place. Make a personal call to each one to make sure they have your new address. Get quick and easy access to your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites. Here’s a checklist if you are SELLING: 1. Closing out a credit card, for example, can lower your credit score. You've made that down payment, but before you can go to the closing table, your home loan must go through the underwriting process. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the, Sorry, we were unable to share this article. No matter how trustworthy the previous owners may seem, you certainly don’t want them holding on to some spare master key that can access your new home. If you’re changing addresses during a busy moving month (e.g., June or September), the choice companies tend to book up quickly; if you’re planning on doing the transport yourself, you still need to book a rental truck and any additional equipment. The day before closing shouldn’t be a very stressful time, and working with a top agent will do wonders for your confidence come closing day. If you're getting a loan, one of the best ways to prepare is to thoroughly review your closing disclosure, also known as a HUD-1 settlement statement. Most sales contracts allow buyers to do a walk-through of the home within 24 hours before closing. Things like applying for a loan, scheduling a home inspection, and purchasing homeowner’s insurance, just to name a few. Prepare for the Lawyer. All of them were fixed the morning before closing. Turn off all switches for lights and fans. The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. That’s why we’ve put together a home closing checklist, which outlines your action points in those few days leading up to settlement. Prior to closing, the seller will need to complete any repairs they agreed to make to the house and prove that the title is free and clear of defects. 5 Reasons You’ll Want a Veteran-Friendly Real Estate Agent, How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Forever Changed the Process of Selling a House, Any paperwork the bank required to approve your loan, A government-issued photo ID (Note to newlyweds who just changed their name: The ID needs to match the name that will appear on the property’s title and mortgage. Do a final walk-through Most sales contracts allow buyers to do a walk-through of the home within 24 hours before closing. Anything that is worth buying with a credit card is worth waiting for. We are just about to close on our new house and we've come across many things that should be completed before closing. Assume that everyone has a set of keys to your new home. It’s a lot easier to paint the walls and redo the floors when there’s no furniture in there to begin with. Let’s be honest: The home-buying process is an enormous time-suck. You’ll want to hop on that to-do list as soon as possible to wrap up any lingering … And if it’s a quick and painless closing, you’ll be glad your phone is powered up to snap a triumphant “Got the keys!” pic for Instagram. That includes making a down payment on a car, boat, or similar large purchase that has to be financed. If the previous owners already had a security system and you want to continue the service, you’ll still need to call the company and have the account switched over — and you’ll probably have to spring for new sensors, motion detectors, and a keypad. Since underwriting typically happens shortly before closing, you don’t want to do anything while you’re in contract that’s going to hurt your credit score. The above 13 tasks are all very important and will improve the overall home buying experience. 1. As the years go by in a home, the list of tasks typically continues to grow but owning a home is a great investment and accomplishment! By law, you are entitled to get this form three days before your closing meeting and should be in the same format as the Loan Estimate you got after applying for your mortgage. Keep this closing process list handy to know you've done what you need to in order to close the deal. Share your tips in the comments below! Stick up for yourself. The closing occurs between four and six weeks after you’ve signed a purchase and sale agreement on one magical day. 8 Myths About Renting You Should Stop Believing Immediately, 6 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage, 6 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without an Agent, Difference Between Agent, Broker & REALTOR, Real Estate Agents Reveal the Toughest Home Buyers They’ve Ever Met, The 5 Maintenance Skills All Homeowners Should Know, Click for complete coronavirus coverage from realtor.com, First-Time Home Buyer Steps: A Guide on How to Buy a House, How to Boost Your Credit Score: Advice for First-Time Home Buyers, home inspection revealed problems that the sellers had agreed to fix, you’ll want to make sure those repairs, Read our stress-free guide to getting a mortgage, All in the Family: How the Pandemic Accelerated the Rise in Multigenerational Living, Tattoo Artist Kat Von D Buys Historic Mansion in Indiana, Planning a Remodel in 2021? Congratulations! You may have been pre-approved for a mortgage already, but that’s not quite the same as being actually approved. Even if you realize that you never use a certain credit card, for example, cut it up if you must, but do not cancel that line of credit while you are waiting to close the purchase of your home. Step #6: Lock up. ). There are several mistakes you may make as a would-be homeowner that will derail a closing or drive your interest rate higher. The last thing you want before closing is a flood. This one is easy to forget about, but gas, electric, and cable all need to be switched over (and phone if you’re still among the landline living). Getting a Mortgage Loan: Pre-Approved, Then Not Approved When one client is pre-approved for a mortgage, and then not approved during escrow, real estate expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson has a few solutions up her sleeve. But clearing title will ensure this doesn’t happen, says Marc Israel, president and chief counsel of MiT National Land Services, a title company in New York City. Start sleuthing online about various burglary/security systems, keeping in mind that some systems are better suited to condo life than to single-family-home living. Turn off shut-off valves to sinks, toilets, dishwashers, the water heater, refrigerator and washing machine. When you’re done, you’ll collect the keys, and you're finally home free! Once you have that closing date in hand, nail down movers ASAP. Make the calls at least two weeks ahead of time to play it safe. Your closing meeting will take place at the office of a neutral third party. Three Things Buyers Need to Do Before Closing on a House. Leave a note for the buyers so they won't call a plumber. 1. Change the locks. From changing the locks to turning on utilities, here's a list of things to do immediately after closing. You’ll want to compare your closing disclosure to the loan estimate your lender gave you at the outset. Wipe the day free of meetings, let your co-workers know that you might not be easily available, and make sure your phone is fully charged in case the proceedings last for hours. Open navigation For the best experience, please enable cookies when using our site. 4 Hardwood Flooring Trends You Should Know About, Have You Served? Follow this checklist of things to do before closing on a house to ensure a smooth experience. Too bad those keys are about to become obsolete. You’ve finished negotiations and accepted an offer from a buyer. 3. As the seller, your biggest priority during the week before closing is to get the home ready for the new owner. A screaming child or a wandering dog. https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/what-not-do-before-buying-home You know what else you don’t want to deal with on closing day? The underwriter—employed by your mortgage company—will check your credit score, review your home appraisal, and ensure that your financial portfolio has remained the same since you were pre-approved for the loan. When you're a first-time home buyer approaching the finish line in the journey to your new home, you want nothing to go wrong, right? These are the most common contingencies that are part of your new home closing process: When you buy a home, you “take title” to the property and establish legal ownership—a process that’s confirmed by local public land records. Contingencies may include: Home inspection : To protect yourself from a bad deal, hire a home inspector to make sure there aren’t any hidden faults that could cost you big bucks after your seller is long gone. Until settlement is complete, you’re legally responsible for the home — meaning you’d be liable if there’s a break-in before closing. It is usually a good idea to pay down debt and close the account, whether it is a credit card, furniture account or local store account. It itemizes the buyer’s and seller’s closing costs separately. Home Buyers Reveal: 'What I Wish I Had Known Before Buying My First Home', Selling Your Home? Nothing more exciting than getting the keys to your new place! Book the movers. He is also a Realtor in Virginia. This may be a “duh” or no brainer statement, but, many people tend to overlook the fact buying a home is a big purchase. Do you hire out for a monthly housecleaning? But for a buyer, it’s important not to let the little things slide ahead of closing day. Planning on ripping out that avocado-green kitchen as soon as you sign the closing docs? Things That Need to be in Place Prior to Closing on a House The following are things that need to be in place prior to closing because the day of closing on a house belongs to the Buyer. 17 things to know about closing your house deal Closing day in a house deal is a milestone for both the seller and the buyer. But for a buyer, it’s important not to let the little things slide ahead of closing day. (If the security serviceperson is nice, he might leave you all of the old stuff, just because.). Don’t want to wait 12 weeks for that living room couch you’ve had your eye on for years? Close All Valves, and Turn Off All Switches. An attorney or settlement agent will guide you through the process. Get references from friends, make your calls, look up previous work online, and if possible, try to get general time and money estimates based on the photos and dimensions of your future home. Before you close on your mortgage, it’s critical to avoid taking steps with your finances that could derail the closing process. ©1995-2020 National Association of REALTORS® and Move, Inc. All rights reserved.realtor.com® is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® and is operated by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp. Daniel Bortz has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Money magazine, Consumer Reports, Entrepreneur magazine, and more. Tick these things to do before closing on a house off your to-do list, and your move-in might prove a (more) seamless affair. If you agreed with the buyer to do any repairs or upgrades to the home, you’re almost out of time at this point. Weekly lawn mowing? Now, there are a few things to take care of: Do a title search and obtain title insurance. Also, don’t let other bank accounts fall behind. Click Follow Search to get alerts on new listings. During this stage, you're making sure the previous owner has vacated (unless you’ve allowed a rent-back arrangement in which they can stick around for a period of time before moving). Start interviewing general contractors now. You’re also double-checking that the home is in the condition agreed upon in the contract. After you've shopped around for the best rate, meet with your mortgage rep to sign off on the papers and to determine your payment details. For every story about a quick and painless experience, there are the tales of undiscovered liens and lawsuits, never mind regretful, histrionic sellers. What’s on your list of things to do before closing on a house? This means that all expenses related to the property will be charged to the Buyer on this day forward including electric, water, property taxes, and insurance. Make sure you cross off the following tasks from your to-do list: Tackle Your Remaining Home Repairs. As the home buyer of this piece of real estate, you’re entitled to choose the title company. Closing day is not something to take lightly. Make sure you have the following items when you head to the closing table: Plan to sign a ton of paperwork. You’ll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there’s a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. Do not increase the credit limits on your cards. Unless you are an all-cash buyer, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start searching for a home. Leave the kids with a babysitter (ideally, tack on a day or two for the actual move as well) and find a friend or relative who can watch the pets for a few days so they’re not frazzled by an empty apartment and the chaos of the transition. If you spot any discrepancies, ask your lender to explain them. 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